Tomato Paste Vs Sauce – What’s The Difference?

What is the difference between tomato paste and tomato sauce?

Tomato sauce has a stronger and more intense flavor, is denser in texture, and is utilized in many dishes to boost other flavors. Tomato sauce, the paste does not function as a “tomato” ingredient in food dishes but rather serves as a base ingredient that provides rich flavor.

There are many distinctions between tomato sauce and tomato paste. In reality, the only thing they have in common is that they are made of tomatoes.

Find out the factors that make these initially like items and how you can utilize them to your advantage.

Differences Between Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste

Have you ever noticed tomato paste in tiny tubes and jars in the supermarket aisles? You might have thought the tiny amount of product doesn’t warrant a purchase.

It’s surprising how one spoon of tomato paste can go far. It is a concentrated tomato paste made from tomatoes that were cooked until they lose all moisture.

The tomato sauce, On the contrary, is not as concentrated. It contains briefly cooked tomatoes that are in a decent amount of liquid. It can create a delicious sauce for pizza, pasta, meatballs, or other dishes.

Here’s the difference between tomato paste, tomato sauce, and even tomato differ.


One of the major differences between tomato sauces and tomato pastes is their consistency.

The tomato sauce is very watery. If you pour it on the plate, it will spread rapidly. Tomato paste in contrast is very dense.

It will begin to loosen up when the mixture is mixed with a type of liquid or placed in a pan that is heated with oil.

The consistency of both products differs depending on the number of tomato solids they have.

Tomato sauce is a thinner and more flexible texture that tomato paste. It is made up of up to 24 percent tomato solids.

Tomato paste, However, has more than 24 percent tomato solids. The thickness of the tomato paste is connected with the process used to make it.

The tomatoes are cooked for so long that water decreases to the minimum, leaving only an extremely thick paste.

Both are made from tomatoes that have been peeled. The seeds are also taken out.


The flavor of tomato paste is similar to the taste of dried tomatoes. It is a bit tart, which isn’t present when you cook tomato sauce. The latter is a flavor that resembles fresh tomatoes.

Since tomato paste is concentrated, it gives an extremely meaty flavor. It is frequently added to food items to add umami to the dish or to enhance the flavors of the other ingredient.

In general tomato paste is believed to be a delicious taste. If a recipe requires 1 teaspoon of tomato paste you shouldn’t add any more. The smallest amount of the paste adds a burst flavor to the food.

Tomato sauce tastes like fresh tomato sauce even though most cases, it’s cooked.

It is normal for tomato sauces purchased from stores to include salt as well as other spices, including onion powder and garlic, and a variety of herbs.

A homemade tomato sauce could be more delicious with the addition of fresh onions and garlic and olive oil of high quality.


Tomato sauce and tomato paste are easily purchased from stores. Although there are some differences between the store-bought items and homemade ones the list of ingredients for both tomato products is pretty straightforward when you decide to prepare either one at home.

Tomato Pastes Is Renowned For Its Acidic Taste. The secret lies in the list of ingredients. Contrary to tomato paste which gains flavor from herbs and spices the tomato paste does not contain any other ingredients, except for salt.

citric acid found in tomato paste improves the acidic and tart flavor. Citric acid also acts as an organic preservative that helps prevent the food from deteriorating.

olive oil is an additional ingredient when cooking tomato sauce at home.

The list of ingredients of tomato sauce is slightly longer and is more ‘flavorful’. Here is the ingredients list to create a delicious tomato sauce:

  • Garlic (or garlic powder)
  • (or onion powder) (or onion powder)
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Herbs
  • Olive oil


Tomato paste is often used in small quantities because it is very astringent in taste. It is used as a base ingredient in stews and sauces. Tomato paste can also provide the perfect color and flavor when it is used in soups.

The secret to unlocking the maximum potential of this tasty paste is to know how to make it work.

Even though the tomatoes used in the paste are cooked, it isn’t enough to mix it with other ingredients, expecting it to do wonders.

The best method to activate tomato paste is to fry it with olive oil till the tomato paste transforms its color.

While tomato paste tends to be lighter than tomato sauce, when it is cooked, its color will become darker and more intense. It could take about five minutes but the flavor of the dish will last much longer.

The process of caramelization begins when you have the brick-red color that the tomato paste has. If the paste is stuck on the surface, you can deglaze it with water or any other liquids, like vegetables or meat stock. This will give you the best umami-flavorful sauce for your food.

The tomato sauce is typically used to make more complex sauces or simply a pizza sauce or pasta.

When canned, tomato only briefly simmered. If you are using tomato sauce that is canned, bear in your mind that tomatoes were exposed to temperatures during the process of canning. This implies that they’ve been prepared to some degree. They are not cooked enough to be eaten raw, however, cooked enough to preserve well.

So, if you’re planning to serve it as a topping for your pasta, do not pour tomatoes directly onto your food. Let it simmer on low heat for a couple of minutes.

If it’s a basic tomato sauce without any added ingredients or seasonings, add onion, garlic, and some herbs to elevate an already-purchased can of sauce to the next stage.

Nutritional Benefits

Although tomato paste is often utilized in small quantities in cooking, it’s important to be aware of the nutrients it has.

In the case of tomatoes, 100 grams of canned tomato sauce is much less nutritious than 100 grams of tomato paste. However, it is crucial to know that, unlike the paste which is made up of just the paste in a couple of tablespoons the sauce is consumed in greater quantities.

100gTomato PasteTomato Sauce (Canned)
Daily ValueDaily Value
Total Fat0.5 grams0%0.2 grams0%
Carbohydrates19 g6%7 g2%
Sodium59 mg2%11 mg0%
Protein4.3 grams8%1.3 grams2%
Cholesterol0 mg0%0 mg0%
Potassium1,014 mg28%331 mg9%
Vitamin A30%8%
Vitamin C36%11%
Vitamin B-65%

Is Tomato Paste Healthier Than Tomato Sauce?

We all are aware we know that freshly picked tomatoes are packed with antioxidants and offer numerous health benefits, very few are aware that tomato paste is not a lagging indicator.

The tomato’s antioxidant is lycopene. It protects cells from damage and is great for heart health, and lowers the risk of various types of cancer.

The study suggests the possibility that the lycopene in tomato paste is more absorbed and makes this common food ingredient a potent ingredient in the production of an antioxidant that is important.

The advantage of tomatoes is an outcome of the process used to create them. Studies suggest that tomatoes are processed to provide more lycopene than raw tomatoes.

So, in terms of their antioxidant ingredients are concerned tomato paste is superior to tomatoes in fresh form and tomato sauce which is cooked only a small.

Interesting Facts & Questions

Can You Substitute Tomato Paste For Tomato Sauce?

You can substitute tomato paste for tomato sauce. You can also expect to get a similar, but not the same outcome. Here’s why.

Tomato paste is much more intense than tomato sauce. It has virtually no liquid content. Therefore, you’ll need to dilute it using water.

The flavor in tomato paste tastes somewhat acidic. If you are making use of it instead of tomato sauce make sure you use some ingredients to balance the acidity. A small amount of sugar or a little amount of vinegar serves well in this regard.

How Do You Make Tomato Sauce Using Tomato Paste?

If you’ve been unable to find the canned tomato sauce that you like then you could make one with tomato paste. If you do have tomatoes in your fridge it is best to make use of them in the making of the sauce. It requires a bit more effort, however, you’ll have a superior outcome and a true tomato sauce flavor.

Making tomato sauce from tomato paste is easy. Mix one portion of the paste with one portion of water. Mix until you have the consistency of a smooth.

For it to taste like the tomato-based sauce you’ll require onions, garlic, and herbs.

The pan is heated with olive oil. Sauté the chopped onions. Then add the garlic.

When the two ingredients are soft, mix both the water and paste. Sprinkle with salt. To increase the sweetness of this sauce Add a dash of sugar. Allow the sauce to cook until it has thickened and until it reaches the consistency you want.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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